Austin City Council to waive permit fees for home repairs, extend winter storm disaster declaration

Austin
Austin City Hall on Feb. 15, 2021 (Saul Hannibal Photo)

Austin City Hall on Feb. 15, 2021 (Saul Hannibal Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council is meeting Thursday and plans to waive all residential permitting and development fees as many people look to repair their homes following last week’s historic winter storm.

They will also get an update on both the winter weather and COVID-19 situations in Austin, extend the winter weather disaster declaration, waive registration requirements for plumbers during the emergency, and sign a resolution to look at the impact of the weather on people’s utility bills.

In addition to all of those items, they will approve ballot language for the upcoming municipal election where voters will decide whether the city should reenact its camping ban for those experiencing homelessness.

Here’s a look at the specific agenda items:

  • Approve a resolution ratifying a declaration of local state of disaster in response to concerns related to imminent threat of widespread and severe property damage, injury, and loss of life due to prolonged freezing temperatures, heavy snow and freezing rain and consenting to continuation of the disaster declaration for a period of more than seven days.
  • Approve an ordinance waiving residential permitting and development fees related to repairing or reconstructing structures, and removing trees and tree limbs damaged as a result of winter weather events; waiving emergency medical services fees and costs for services provided during winter weather events; and declaring an emergency.
  • Approve an ordinance authorizing the building official to exempt certain plumbing activities from permit requirements, extending the deadline for certain permit applications, waiving registration requirements for plumbers, and declaring an emergency.
  • Approve a resolution relating to evaluating and mitigating the effects of the recent weather emergency on city residents, including their city utility bills.
  • Approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20210209-004 ordering a special municipal election regarding a criminal offense and a penalty for camping in public areas without a permit, certain types of solicitation, and sitting, lying, or sleeping outdoors in certain public areas; and declaring an emergency.

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